Dangerous Loss of Power

CAPwTDIs

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Location
USA
I am experiencing an intermittent loss of power once every couple of weeks; twice while driving 65 on a busy highway, twice while traveling 30-40 mph. During the first episode, the engine light came on and there was a brief interruption of power, but I was able to continue driving. The next three times, the engine shut down completely. After pulling to the side of the road, I restarted the car without a problem and continued driving. I have had the fuel cutoff valve replaced (prior to the fourth episode which happened 1/4 mile from the dealer AFTER the replacement), checked battery, alternator, relays and computer test. Three dealers have said that unless they can experience the problem, there is nothing to fix. I can't replicate the problem while driving with their mechanics. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated as I am worried about losing power when I can't pull over to a shoulder to restart. Are there parts that could be defective without presenting a problem code? Please help! The car has been terrific in every way, and I'd like to remedy this ASAP.
 

TDIMeister

Phd of TDIClub Enthusiast, Moderator at Large
Joined
May 1, 1999
Location
Canada
TDI
TDI
A total engine shutdown while driving would point to the Relay 109 being the main culprit. When you say they were checked, that's not enough. The relay does not necessarily fail once and for all. All the electrical loading going through that relay causes it to overheat and overwhelm the marginal contacts. Replace it without question with the newest style with the gray casing (part number can be found by searching the forums with keyword "109 number" or trying the troubleshooting section of the TDIFAQ. The part costs under $20 and is something that can be easily done yourself. The relay itself has big numbers "109" imprinted on the top of it (might be oriented upside-down from your vantage point
)

The only effort is getting at the fuse box, which on the A3/B4 cars is underneath the steering column (behind the knee bar on Passats). The relay goes in only one way. Pop the old one off, pop the new one in. Done!

Try that and let us know if that solves your problem.
 

CAPwTDIs

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Location
USA
THANK YOU for pointing me to this information. Should I also replace the ignition switch in case the problem is not caused by the relay or is it likely that the relay is the sole cause? (Both parts were listed in the description.)

Note: As a novice/non-mechanical type, I am extremely impressed with this site and the fast, knowledgeable responses. Why can't my dealer(s) have this level of knowledge? (Does anyone have a recommendation for such a dealer in New Jersey???) Two of the dealers I visited suggested I might have to get rid of my car because "electrical" problems can't ever really be fixed. Unbelieveable.
 

riddei

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 23, 1999
Location
Northern New England (barely)
TDI
Passat, 1997, Storm Grey
The problem as you describe it, leads me to believe that you will be very happy after you change relay 109
.

Ignition switches have been problomatic on the B4's, but it is most likely relay 109. The ignition switch is a more extensive fix. Start with relay 109 for sure.

I would have sold my car many years ago if it were not for these forums! Always check here before going to the dealership. Dealerships in general are terrible!

The only reason TDIMeister didn't respond first is because he was giving you a more thorough explanation
.

Good luck, this is an easy fix!
 

TDIMeister

Phd of TDIClub Enthusiast, Moderator at Large
Joined
May 1, 1999
Location
Canada
TDI
TDI
CAP, for your convenience, here is the part number of the Relay 109 you need:

1J0 906 381A

"0" are zeroes. Take this number to the dealership and buy a new one. Verify that the part is gray in colour.
 

Andrei Rinea

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Location
Europe, Romania, Bucharest
TDI
VW Tiguan 4Motion 2.0 TDI 170HP (engine CBBB)
Originally posted by CAPwTDI:
Note: As a novice/non-mechanical type, I am extremely impressed with this site and the fast, knowledgeable responses. Why can't my dealer(s) have this level of knowledge? (Does anyone have a recommendation for such a dealer in New Jersey???) Two of the dealers I visited suggested I might have to get rid of my car because "electrical" problems can't ever really be fixed. Unbelieveable.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">This is incredible.
"Electrical problems can't ever really be fixed".
I am a college student in Electronics and Telecommunications in Bucharest (Politehnica University Bucharest)
I could start my own comedy show based on this statement.
This level of stupidity is something I never seen in my whole life.
In my opinion electrical problems are easier to fix than mechanical problems... they are IDIOTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IDIIIIIOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTS!!!

Later!
 

Mass. Wine Guy

Veteran Member
Joined
May 21, 2001
Location
Ipswich, Massachusetts
TDI
2001 Golf GLS 5-speed, 2003 Jetta GLS wagon 5-speed, 2015 Golf S 6-speed manual
Am I allowed in this forum if I have an A4 Golf? Let's keep this between us, then.

My car was just having this problem over the last week. I replaced Realy 109, finding the older black model, with the new gray one. No stalling problems since (three days, so far).

I am also a complete non-mechanic, but I followed the pictures and instructions posted elsewhere in the forums and did it. This made me feel great and now I'm going to build a small rocket.

See these links:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=17&t=002518
http://forums.tdiclub.com/NonCGI/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=17;t=000411#000023
 

Old Navy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jun 15, 2001
Location
Ozark Hill's in Missouri, USA
TDI
None now, .
Andrei Rinea I truley enjoyed and agree with your post.
Don't tell anyone but after 25 years in the US Navy, I was a high school Electronics teacher. Stay in college and get that degree, it's one, it not the most important thing you will ever do. Good luck my young fellow TDi'er.
 

Andrei Rinea

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2002
Location
Europe, Romania, Bucharest
TDI
VW Tiguan 4Motion 2.0 TDI 170HP (engine CBBB)
Old Navy, glad to have someone on the forum with simillar inclinations!


Concerning those stealerships... What if .. at their home a bulb would fry? They would move out of the city? Because ofcourse "electrical problems cannot really be fixed".

LLLLLOOOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!!
 

CAPwTDIs

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Location
USA
After replacing "Relay 109" on Friday, I have had three days of driving without any stalling problems! I've also noticed that my intermittent wipers now make a clicking sound when on (which they never did before), and the turn signal clicking is more pronounced, like it's been rejuvenated. I've also replaced two low horns in the past year as well as a headlamp -- could a malfunctioning "Relay 109" be responsible?
 
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